Illuminating your outdoor space serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Obviously, you wouldn’t want your lawn or garden to be dark. Not only is this unsafe at night but not having outdoor lights will also deter you from having full use of your outdoor space. Aesthetically speaking, the right outdoor lights can elevate your outdoor space’s elegance, feel, and ambiance.
Generally, the rule to follow is that the bigger your outdoor space, the more lighting you’ll need. However, this doesn’t mean you should only have one type of lighting. Similar to how you mix and match various plants and design elements in your garden, you should also try using a combination of different lighting types and styles. The goal should be that once dusk sets, your outdoor space will be as beautiful as it looks during daytime—if not more beautiful.
Once you start shopping for lighting fixtures both in physical stores and online shops like https://washingtonoutdoorlighting.com/, you’ll quickly realize that your options seem limitless. With that in mind, here are nine must-try outdoor lighting ideas you can try at home:
1. Play Around With String Lights
If you have trees in your backyard, you should consider using string lights. Contrary to what some people are starting to think, string lights are more than just a trend or fad. These are essential elements in lighting up a backyard. Why? Apart from their ability to effectively light up a dark garden, they create a cozy backyard feel. This is especially true if your string lights are all in a warm white or warm yellow hue.
So, how do you decorate with string lights? Here are some ideas:
- Brighten up your outdoor dining area. When you’re hosting guests, you can step up your outdoor dining game by having lanterns and candles on your dining table as well.
- Lighten your living space or patio. Even if you have a roof covering your patio, string lights can still look great. All you have to do is arrange your string lights in a crisscross pattern to achieve that relaxing vibe.
- Use a big tree as your base. Make the most out of your trees! You can light up larger trees by hanging or wrapping string lights around them.
- Hang it above your swimming pool. If you have a backyard pool, it’s not just the garden and pool lights that can better feature or draw attention to your pool. Another good way to make your pool look more impactful is to have string lights hanging above it.
- Set it around your pergola. Some homes have a deck or patio while others have a pergola. If your home has the latter, your pergola can also be a good place in your outdoor area to hang your string lights.
2. Light Up Your Garden With Lanterns
This idea applies to those who have an outdoor space complete with tables. Think, your outdoor coffee table, dining table, or an outdoor kitchen countertop. When you have a party coming up, a good way to elevate your outdoor lighting is to have lanterns around.
When you shop in your local home store, you’ll come across a wide variety of lantern styles. It’s up to you to choose according to your outdoor space’s style or theme.
If you want to go beyond just placing the lanterns on the tables, you may also consider hanging a few lanterns on your trees, alternating with your string lights.
3. Go For Wall Lights
There are areas in your outdoor space where wall lights are called for. These are your front wall or porch, backdoor area, and even the perimeter of your fence. The bigger the perimeter is, the more wall lights you’ll need to have.
After all, having just one wall light may not make that much of an impact. This is why many homeowners might not think of it as necessary. However, once you install wall lights in the areas they’re best suited for, you’ll quickly realize just how much they transform any space. Your blank walls and plain fence will have more depth when there are lights to brighten them up at night.
4. Shine Light On Concrete
Shining light on concrete is different from installing wall lights. For this idea, the light source comes from the ground and points upwards. This is a great way to expose and show off the modern look that the texture of concrete texture adds.
This idea works especially well for those outdoor spaces that aren’t leveled or don’t have any steps. You’re not maximizing the beauty of your concrete if you’re not showing off its texture at night by shining light on it.
A bonus tip: To achieve that quintessential glow, choose a warm light with a color temperature of around 2700K. This can create the ideal glow on the concrete surface while casting dramatic shadows.
5. Position Lighting Near Water Features
This fifth idea applies to homes with water features, whether natural and artificial. For instance, your backyard may extend to a lake or the beach. You can play with the natural reflections on the water’s surface by installing lighting fixtures near the water. If you have a waterfall, fountain, garden pond, or swimming pool in your yard, the same principle applies. Place a lot of outdoor lights around the pool area.
Soft and warm yellow lights are especially effective in creating a magical effect when reflected on the water. For fish ponds, the lights can also draw attention to the fish, which will be a spectacle at night for you or your guests.
6. Light Up A Path
If you have a big garden and you have a few pathways, be sure to light them up as well. This idea also applies if you have steps in your outdoor space. Beyond the aesthetics, lighting up the path also keeps your outdoor space safe, especially for children who may be running around.
A concrete stone pathway lit up by beautiful ground solar lights looks stunning at night.
7. Hang Statement Pendant Lights
To increase an outdoor space’s functionality, many homeowners also have the practical idea of having a roofed sitting area in the garden. Some opt to have glass roofing, while others have the usual concrete or wood slabs. When it comes to lighting, you can make use of the roof to add more beautiful lights.
You can do this by installing big, statement pendant lights. Who says these are only for your home’s interior? The big, pendant lights create a welcome break in your line of sight, contrasting with the smaller string lights.
While pin, ceiling lights serve the same function, they may be quite boring. You can reserve the pin lights for your covered front porch if you have one. In your backyard, don’t shy away from hanging pendant lights in your covered outdoor bar or kitchen or in your alfresco dining area.
Here’s another bonus tip: pendant lights don’t have to be limited just to those areas. If you have a tree with long and strong branches, you can use just one tree to hold a trio of pendant lights. There are many lightweight options you can find, like those that are covered in rattan or other similar materials. Then, right below those pendant lights, you can have either install a hammock or an outdoor sofa. By doing so, you’ll immediately create a lounge area.
8. Don’t Forget Your Security
Apart from serving an aesthetic function, outdoor lighting should also help keep your home safe and secure at night. A well-lit home isn’t a guarantee that no thieves will try to break in. However, it’s a proven measure to help deter potential thieves.
So, as you light up your outdoor space from inside your home, don’t forget to also light up your home’s fence or perimeter from the outside. For this purpose, you should be less concerned about the aesthetics and give more emphasis on having bright lights. The best way to achieve this is by having a few flood lights or spotlights in your fence or gate’s perimeter.
9. Use Outdoor Lights To Strike An Impression
First impressions last, and you can’t make a good first impression when your home’s front yard or door isn’t well-lit. There’s no uniform approach to this, as it’ll depend on how your door is positioned and whether or not you have a covered front porch. If you have the latter, you can play around with a balanced combination of ceiling pin lights and wall lights.
As you can see, outdoor lighting is all about experimenting with the various areas in your outdoor space. Each space has its own lighting needs and style elements. So, take it one area at a time. Choosing the right lighting for your exterior is just as important as your interior. When you get it right, you can immediately add impact to an otherwise lifeless patio space. This roundup of the best lighting ideas should be more than enough to get you excited about lighting up your front and backyard. You can now entertain guests or enjoy some cozy family time outdoors, even after the sun goes down.